Critical Path Method

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9 hours 53 minutes
Video Transcription
Hi, guys. I'm glad you're still with me. After I warned you that project management's not necessarily my get down. I'm Katherine McKeever. And today we're gonna go over the critical path. So again, introduction to the critical path method. But when you're done with this, you should have an understanding of what it is and why we use it. So
the pen Bach.
If you decide that Project Manager in is totally your get down, which more power to you. The project management body of knowledge is going to be your compendium. It will be your bible if you remember at the beginning. I told you I don't believe in lean six Sigma Bibles. If you do project management, this is the Bible.
Conversely, if you decide that business analysis is your get down
the bad Bach, the business analysis body of knowledge also going to be your bible. So it is pronounced pin Bach. Um, if you tell people that they will not look at you like you're crazy, unless they're not project managers, in which case
I can't help you. But anyway, so the pin box defines your critical path method as the sequence of scheduled activities that determines the duration of the project. So
what does that mean In Phnom Penh? Bach language a critical using the critical Path method or the Critical path technique is a tool that gives us a guide point of how long our project is going to take. So remember, Project management is quite a bit about how we get stuff done
a little bit different than Lean and six Sigma. Where we talk about milestones for delivery, Bols,
um, project management tends to sequence your activities. You can determine how long your projects going to take. You also are going to determine what is critical and not what is not critical. Eso that airs the critical not critical are the activities that must be performed for your project to be considered a success.
Everything else is icing on the cake.
So with that, your critical path is what does it take to complete the project? So if we were going to do a critical path for making an omelet, we have a couple of things that must happen. We must beat the eggs. We must heat the oil, and we must cook it
with that being said, those nice toe have things
seasoning it, adding vegetables, adding cheese. If we're going to determine how long this project takes, what we're going to dio
is we're going to look at the durations for each of the blue tasks. So
if we're looking at it from a scope perspective, our scope starts at making an omelet and ends at happily eating an omelette the duration of beating to aches. Whether or not this is a 30 seconds
or a one minute, we're going to measure that. We're gonna say one minute because I'm not that necessarily great at mental math
heating the oil in the pan. We're gonna also say that this is one minute there could be some variation on it. This is why that historical knowledge that we talk about quite a bit when you do more projects, you get better engaging how long things take. But we're going to say that heating the oil also takes a minute.
Now we're going to cook for five minutes and yea were eating.
So this project will take us seven minutes, irregardless of whether or not we season it and we add things to make this even more yummy. So when we talk about our critical path method. What we're doing is measuring the time it takes
to complete those essential tasks.
So how do we get to our steps? Um, we're going to actually to this in a lean six Sigma project way so that it kind of ties altogether. So at your highest level, you have your project. Remember, you have named it because it's one of my pet peeves. So you're gonna name your project
Andan. You're gonna break down. What are your major deliver balls for this example? We're just going to say the phases in domestic
from those major deliberate bols you then take what are the things that need toe happen
to create this major deliverable? So for a defined phase, we must have a completed charter and we must have a team. Um, generally speaking, the rule of thumb for your work breakdown structure is the smallest unit of independent work.
And if it's not something that super small unit independent work or if you're building a space shuttle
one week worth of work, So what? What are a tasks that you can get done in one week?
Go with the smallest unit of independent work. So in our define example, completing a charter packaged up, it's done a symbol, a team packaged up. It's done. Those become the steps
in your, um, critical path.
So to get to create your critical path, you need to start with a work breakdown structure or WBS. It is called that so you know all of the tests that must be completed. You then must figure out if they're critical tasks or if they are non essential tests there. Things that we still want done.
But they're not things that drive the project forward.
You will then determine how long each task will take. There's a little bit of an art and a science to this again. The longer you do projects, the more accurate your times tend to be. You are then going to sequence your tasks in order of completion.
So going back to my egg example, we can't cook my egg before the eggs have been beaten.
You're also gonna want to identify dependencies because this is important for your sequencing Heating. The oil is not dependent on beating the egg and cooking the egg, but cooking the egg is dependent on having it whisked up and ready to go.
You're going to want to diagram your critical path. So that little flow sheet looking thing we looked at for my eggs, you're going to want to do that. It helped being visual, much like our process. Mapping helps people recognize what's going on.
And then you will add up the number of days on the critical path.
So you're critical path is the shortest duration that your projects can be finished in. So if we were to say, decide that we have to get this project done in the fastest time possible, we will eliminate our noncritical or non essential tasks. Complete are critical tasks
and this is what? How fast we can get this done in.
So with that today we went over the Critical path method. We know that it is a way to determine our project timeframes. We also use the work breakdown structure to get to individual chunks in that critical path. And we know that we
and we know that the Critical path is the shortest duration to complete the project in our next module. We're going to do a quick overview on Gant charts. I will see you guys there
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